The Melbourne Festival seems to have it all this year, from traditional theatre to Icelandic Techno. Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Ramussen are Kiasmos, a high energy duo with a unique deep techno sound.
Walking in to the very clean, structured, organised Foxtel Festival Hub it didn’t feel like I was truly going to a techno gig- my normal expectation of a grungy, dirty underground warehouse space was certainly not fulfilled. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Seeing the listing for Kiasmos in the Melbourne Festival guide certainly intrigued me. A Techno duo from Iceland- I knew I had to see it. Not only was I intrigued for this reason, but also that the mainstream, well established Melbourne Festival has grown and expanded into different artistic mediums that can attract a broader range of people. It’s quite an interesting dynamic to have patrons leaving a show at the Arts Centre and walking across the footbridge, with a raging techno party going on beneath them as part of the same festival line-up.
Hans Berg was a great warm-up act with more of a tech-house sound that had great driving bass. Unfortunately when Hans finished a short break was taken to re-set before Kiasmos took to the stage. The vibe was truly dulled when other folk/pop music played through the speakers to fill the gap. The majority of guests flocked to the bar or left to go outside and smoke. This completely broke the night into what felt like two artists and two separate gigs.
When Kiasmos did begin to play it was evident from the start that the wait had been worth it. The Icelandic Duo were pro’s at working the crowd and gave us just enough, but kept us begging for more. Their sound was dark and emotion filled techno. The crowd picked up and the boogying intensified. This industrial and darker sound almost transformed the venue into that dark and sweaty underground club where we’d expect to hear this music.
Kiasmos were a pleasure to watch perform. Their love for the music, the performance and the party was contagious. It was a beautiful night of beautiful music in a beautiful city.